Farmers representatives have urged the government to announce support price of the cotton crop for the current season at Rs 5000 per maund on priority basis encouraging the farmers to go for this crop.
"Cotton season has almost begun and soon it will be in full swing by the mid of April," said Farmers Bureau of Pakistan (FBP) while talking to Business Recorder on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, FBP President Dr Zafar Hayat commenting on relaxing the cottonseed germination standard by the National Seed Council (NSC) termed it another failure of the agriculture departments, both federal and provincial, exposing their inability to proactively manage agriculture-related issues and formulating policies.
"No doubt, last year bad weather condition played a partial role in poor seed germination but it is the management practices by the registered seed growers and the poor seed standards by the private and public seed companies which are responsible for bad seed germination this season - Kharif 2020. In previous years when weather was even favorable, the seed companies never achieved the good seed germination and the good seed quality," claimed FBP President.
He further said for persons in the government sector it has been a lot easier to fix the responsibility on the factors which cannot be made accountable. The seed mafia has always misled the government and unfortunately from last few years even Punjab Seed Corporation, once an exemplary institution, has also failed to perform.
The germination of seed starts from the good management practices by the registered growers for multiplying the seed to the storage and processing by the seed companies. At every step, no strict measures are taken to control the quality of the seed and its germination.
Mian Shaukat, Senior Vice President FBP strongly opposed the idea of approving the standards of seed 50% germination for the current cotton year, while on the other hand Imran Shah Khaga, District Coordinator Khanewal, FBP, is of the opinion that some relaxation should be given for the current year. Both agreed that this year there should be the strict application of laws for "Truth in Label".